Monday, October 3, 2011


Settle in, pumpkins, you know this is going to be a whopper!  No one mentioned to me not to put up photos or use names, so I have...but please, please let me know if I should take one down or change a name and I would be glad to do so.  Thanks!

Before I get started, I want to thank the organizing committee.  You all did such a FABULOUS job and we thank you!!  Also, I want to reaffirm my BBFness with Debi.  I'm SO glad you were there and I <3 you so much!!!

Thursday I got on a plane and headed to Chicago to spend the weekend with some of the most amazing women that I'm honored to know.  I took a cab to the hotel and immediately ran into about 10 BO0Bs (see that Brandy/Debi??)  and I couldn't even tell you who all was in the group!  I was so overwhelmed but in a really good way.  I was such an odd feeling to have these people to be saying my name and giving me hugs.  I was almost crying when I checked in.  :)

Once I got that squared away, I put my things in my room and went out to find people.  I found another group by the pool and visited for a while.  This group included my roommate for the night Darlin1.  Then I continued to my room for the following two nights to meet those roommates...Brandi, Dawnya, & Stephanie.  I had met Dawnya and I already knew how freaking awesome she is and how much I love her.  I had talked with Stephanie off and on and felt like I knew her as well.  I didn't know Brandi well, but I fully expected to love her too!  We (along with some other lovely ladies) went to Pizzaria DUE for dinner and it was the first of many times that I had a moment where it almost felt like it was unreal. 
KMR, Stephanie, Jessica, Brandi, Angie, Dawnya, & Beth Ann

Beth Ann & KMR
Before dinner when I was talking to my roommates, I mentioned that I wasn't thrilled with my outfit for Saturday night.  Stephanie told me to try on the dresses she brought because she bought a new one to wear.  Since she is so much smaller than me, I didn't have much hope.  One of them was in fact too small, but the other was not.  In fact, I'm convinced that it might be the BO0B equivalent of the Traveling Pants.  It was the magic dress and it looked awesome!!  More on that later...

After dinner, more people started to make their way to the hotel.  Debi made it which was great because as you know, she is awesome.  Many of us made our way to a Drag Show.  It was so much fun and we all drank up and acted silly.  My favorite part was when the hostess asked from the stage what brought us together and completely in unison, we yelled "BO0Bs!!"  Fabulous!
Debi, Chili Pepper, Beth Ann & Joey

Debi & Beth Ann
I branched out with some zebra leggings but I liked them and Debi rocked her dress!!  It was such a great time.  After the drag show, several of us headed back to the hotel.  Debi & I caught up a little and nibbled on some Trader Joe Chocolate Chip Cookies (those things were AWESOME!) and then went to bed.  My rocking roommate made it home close to 3am.  YOU GO, GIRL!!!

Friday morning, Debi & I went shopping.  I don't have pictures of the fabulous coat I bought, but just know that it was fantastic!  :) 
Debi & Beth Ann on the Magnificent Mile

Beth Ann w/ Marilyn
After spending much of the day on the Magnificent Mile, we went back to our respective rooms to get ready.  I spent some quality time with my new roomies.  Stephanie was frantically busy with the planning committee making sure that everything was getting done.  Did I mention that they rock???  Because they totally do and this trip kicked ass!  Anyway, it was around this point where I started spending some real time with Brandi and began to realize that I might have a slight girl crush on her. 

We all headed to the Friday night meet and greet with big smiles and lots of love!  The gift bags rocked the freaking house.  I still haven't had a chance to enjoy all my goodies, but I can't wait.  The organizers really outdid themselves.  The Friday m&g was the first time I really got to spend some time with lots of people.  I was so overwhelmed and busy trying to meet up with everyone that I didn't take many pictures.  I'm actually okay with that because my sassy cami didn't do much to hide my arms and I'm not loving that.  But I love my BO0B girls, so here are a few of the pictures that I did take.
Maria & Beth Ann - Maria was someone I felt I didn't know well before this weekend and now I know she is the bomb diggity!!  I'm so glad I got to spend some time with her!!

Beth Ann & Jessica - Jessica is my freaking hero for doing the Triathlon Relay.  She is inspiring me to work toward something like that myself!  Plus, is she hot or what??

My Chocolate Love Bunny Dawnya & Beth Ann - This girl is the real deal, y'all.  She is one of the kindest souls I have ever met.  Even if I do drive her bonkers!!  :)
After the party, it was time to head to The Second City for some comedy fun.  It was hilarious and I had a great time getting to know a few more people.
Stephanie M., DiznyDiva, Darlin1, Debi, BG, Stacey, Donut Butt, Jen & Lap Band Gal
Pardon the mix of real names and blog names, if I wasn't sure which I should use, I defaulted to blog name.  After the show we headed back.   I got to sleep around 2am, and then got up Saturday morning at 8am to go to Jazzercise.

We ended up with five girls going to Jazzercise which was great!  The class was small so we almost doubled it.  :)  The instructor was fun and I think we gave some extra energy to the class. 

Debi, Becky, Dawnya, Catherine & Beth Ann - Before!

Becky, Debi, Beth Ann, Dawnya, & Catherine - After and trying (badly!) to look gangsta! 
I feel like I got to know Becky & Catherine during this little excursion.  Catherine almost made me cry when she told me how glad she was that I organized the trek.  It truly WAS a great moment when we five women took time out of our vacation to work out HARD when a few years ago we wouldn't have even been able to walk up a flight of stairs together without gasping for air.  We ROCKED this!!

After the class, we couldn't find a cab so we walked the 1.5 miles back to the hotel.  Honestly, this might have been my favorite part,  We had such a fun time together on that walk home.  That Becky is not only a little prankster, she is such an amazing person.  I consider her such a friend to me.  Plus, on the walk back, I got to see Dawnya run.  That girl MOVES when she is about to be hit by a car!!!

After Jazzercise, I met FitBy40 for lunch.  First of all?  She is GORGEOUS!!  Second, she is such an inspiration to me and I was so happy that she took time after a huge vacation to meet up with me.  I love you, girlie!!

Saturday night!  Dinner was nice, the restaurant was great, the drinks were fab and the company was absolutely delightful.  Everyone looked fantastic and I got to wear the magic dress!!  :)  Sidenote:  after so many compliments, feeling like a $1M, and requests for me to pass on the dress to others when I was done with it...I asked Stephanie how much it was cost me to bribe her out of it.  That lovely little lady passed it on to me!!  (With the caveat that I would send it back to her if she needs it which I TOTALLY will!)  Thank you, Stephanie!!  It is an amazing gift!!  Big hugs!!

Now for the pics:
Angie is another BO0B that I didn't feel like I knew well before this trip.  If y'all don't know her, you should work to do so.  She is AWESOME!!

Beth Ann, Liz & Maria - I'm not even 100% sure I was following Liz before this weekend.  WTF?  We are friend on FB and I talk to her a lot.  I'm just going to assume that was a Blogger issue.  Ha!!

Beth Ann & Grace - I got to bond with Grace a little on Saturday night and she is super fun!!

Darlin1, Sandy Lee, Band Groupie & Beth Ann - I kept teasing Darlin1 that she was my mom because she kept taking care of me, Sandy Lee and I talked Canadian geography, & Band Groupie was my original blogging inspiration.  Super cool ladies!

Ronnie, Beth Ann, & Amanda - Not sure why I keep putting my name in there as if you don't know who I am.  It's my blog.  Whatev.  Anyway, I had already met and adore Ronnie (Go Texas!) and I talk with Amanda frequently.  I feel quite certain that I will have more time with these girls in my future!

Who's that?  Oh yeah!  It's my BBF!

Beth Ann & Stacey - Stacey is so super quiet but funny as hell!

Angela, Beth Ann, Jessica & Fluffy (taking the picture.)  - these are my fitness goddesses.  When I need to get my ass to a workout, these are some of the people I look to for inspiration!  Oh and fashion tips...these girls have STYLE!

Lap Band Gal & Beth Ann - LBG is so down to earth and just so much fun to be around!!

Plus, we are Jazzercise buddies!!  Jazz hands!

Stephanie M. & Beth Ann - I got to know Stephanie M. more this weekend too!  She organized the Second City outing where we had such a blast!

Beth Ann & Tessie Rose - <3  One of the sweetest most wonderful people on the planet.  I didn't get to spend as much time with Tessie as I would have liked, but she is just absolutely lovely.

Debi's funny.  :)

Jenny & Beth Ann - this picture totally cracked me up.  We look so confused!

That's better!  More <3!

Beth Ann & Brandi - my new sister wife.  Seriously, this girl is like my long lost friend that I never knew I had.  Debi & I had so much fun with her that sometimes I think we forgot we just met!! 

Dawnya, Beth Ann & Debi - A lot of Texas sexy in this picture!!

Beth Ann & Draz - I think I might have frightened her!  :) Although, you can't see my hands, so it is quite possible that I just grabbed her ass... 

Beth Ann, Read, & Brandi - Read is as hilarious in person as she is on her blog!

Beth Ann & Becky - Becky rules! 

Beth Ann, Debi, Becky, & Brandi - this is like happiness in a picture for me.  :)  Except I looked possessed.  That's a little weird.
After the marathon dinner, we went back to the hotel for a massive pajama party.  I really felt like I got to connect with so many people.  I feel like I probably have missed talking about someone very important because I didn't have a picture to jog my memory.  I can't wait to see everyone else's pictures, read about their experiences and comment! 

Sunday morning, Brandi, Debi & I went to an eggsellent breakfast before we headed out.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend!! 

Ladies, I had an amazing time and I just can't thank all of you enough.  Everyone was SO fun and inclusive and friendly.  I think it would have taken real effort not to have felt happy and inspired throughout the weekend.  I love all of you and I can't even put into words what a difference you have made in my life!!



Fluffy said...

Great pics of everyone! You ROCKED that dress! You looked fantastic. I'm so glad that you found something (go Stephanie!) to wear that really allowed you to celebrate how far you've come. Your smile that night said it all! I'm so happy for you!

Liz said...

I think it was a Blogger glitch! Silly Blogger :) I'm first in line for the magic dress, right?? Hahaha!

speck said...

I smiled the whole time I read this post. :)

Thanks so much for sharing all the stories and great pictures. It's great for me(a still new blogger) to be able to put more of a face with the blog.

You looked GREAT in that red dress. And everyone else looks great as well.

What a happy post!

Debi said...

No fair. You know how tired I am right now and all the sweet and wonderful things you are saying about me has me almost crying.

I love all the pictures! And I love all the bUUbs! And I love you in that magic dress! But most of all, do not forget that we agreed to SHARE Brandi. You can not have her all to yourself. ;)

Maria said...

Love the picture post!

Ms. M said...

Great pictures! So happy I got to meet you. :)

Justawallflower said...

Yeah, I completely teared up at this post! I love your pictures and a great recap! I truly miss you all and can't wait to see you again. In the mean time, I'ma stalk you! (and Debi!)

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

Your new sister wife - freaking love that! I loved this recap - like loved it so much I'll read it 50 more times. Oh if you get a chance can you take my real name off the pic and put Draz in? But whatever you do - don't take down the pic because it is literally one of my faves cuz I love you so much!

~Lisa~ said...

GREAT photos!! Thank you soooooo much for the run down!! It looks to have been an absolutely FABULOUS time!!

FitBy40 said...

LOVE all the pics, and of course the awesome compliment you gave me :-)
I am so jealous I couldn't spend the whole weekend and have this amazing experience with you guys! Definitely next year, no matter what!
You can put our pic up if you want, I really don't mind. I'm almost at the point where I don't care if people know anymore...almost!

Dawnya said...

Excellent recap of a fabulous weekend. I totally love that I"m your chocolate bunny. LOL

I enjoyed you so much. I look forward to see ing you and the rest of my texas BUUBS in the coming months.

Jessica said...

Love love the post... Glad you had a great time and thanks for the pics!

Island Bandit said...

but *I* want Brandi - cute as HELL and can do splits AND cartwheels on command!!!! What more could you ask for. Brandi - looks like you're gonna be awfully busy with all this sharing going on!
It was awesome to meet you and get to know you this weekend Beth Ann (see, I had to write your name too). Even though it started out in Stephanie's closet, that dress was made for you. BTW - is she the most incredibly generous person or what!
And you have NO IDEA how warm and fuzzy (and oh yeah.... choked up) it makes me feel to be considered a fitness hero AND a style maven!!!!! :)

Kiwigirl said...

I LOVE the dress. You look fabulous. Such a happy post, and great photos. I'm glad you all had a great time!

Something About Kellie said...

Thank you for the wonderful recap ... it almost feels like I was there ... almost!

Band Groupie said...

You are even more beautiful in person (and you were already gorgeous in my head) and I'm SOOOO glad I finally got to meet you! And thanks so much for my first tears of the weekend (oh yes I did)! You rocked that red dress...and have to share a pic of you in the coat!!! Miss you already sweetie! -BG

Banded Mommy (Angie) said...

You are one hot mama!
I can't wait to see you again! I miss you already!!

Laura Belle said...

Wow. Just wow. I freaking had the biggest grin on my face reading this whole thing!! I soooo can't wait till next year!!

And you are drop dead gorgeous in that dress. Wowzers Hot Mama!!!

Becky said...

Best post ever! I LOVE all the pics and you had something nice to say about everyone (that's my type of lady)!! Gosh, I was so blown away by how quickly we all got on with one another, like we've been friends forever for years! Thanks again for setting up Jazzercize, it was a blast, and I agree, the walk back was even better than the class (which was ton of fun)!

In conclusion: I love you and Debi, and you, and also Debi. AND Brandi!!

Andrea said...

Okay first of looked amazing!!! I LOVE seeing all the pictures and I'm so glad y'all had a great time!

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

You were stunning in the red dress!

Darlin1 said...

You definitely ROCK that red dress. Can't wait to spend more time with you....


Stephanie M. said...

GREAT post! I loved getting to know you and you looked splendiferous in that red dress!